Gender Equality in the Workplace


Many have tried to conceptualize the intersectionality between class, gender and the racial relations of inequality in the workplace, and although women have made great strides in the workplace in recent years we find that inequality continue to persist. According to a PEW Research, about four-in-ten working-women (42%) in the United States say they have faced discrimination on the job because of their gender. They report a broad array of personal experiences, ranging from earning less than male counterparts for doing the same job to being passed over for important assignments (PEW Research Center, 2017). Much of the discrimination felt by women have not only been in the social aspect, but in the professional aspect as well as stated by PEW .
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Considerable portions of the miss conception stem from the thought that women were the ones to take care of the children and the home, while men were the breadwinners in the family. Women often take inferior compensating jobs as a tradeoff for flexible hours and often-spending lower working hours per week at their jobs than their male counterparts do. For the reason that women are linked to be the primary care givers in the home, they tend to kept lower paying occupations that are more flexible, allowing them to care for their family yet still retain an income earner to their homes. However, with the ever-changing times we find that parental roles have shifted dramatically. Fathers are now sharing the responsibilities of child care, which is allowing more and more women to pursue careers.
According to statistics from the Department of Labor of the United States of the “123 million women age 16 years and over, 58.6 percent or 72 million were labor force participants. In the end, women are projected to account for 51 percent of the increase in total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018” (U.S Department of Labor, 2010). For same reasons, gender inequality is an elusive subject, it has become frustrating to pin-point specific causes when developing theories. However, before we can begin to analyze this subject further we need to incorporate men in to the theoretical framework and how workplaces need to acclimate to people as a whole let it be men or a woman. We need to discuss the changing climate of the workforce and differential in treatment between male and female, diversity management in the workplace, and pay differentials between males and females.
Gender inequality within organizations can be viewed as a complex and elusive phenomenon. It is important to realize that much of gender discrimination comes from organizational practices stemming from the hiring process and human resources. Many of the policies in place affect the ability for hired, training, pay and the promotion prospects of women. Under set circumstances, human resource policies are inherently predisposition to exclude certain groups specifically women, despite their education, skills, performance or abilities to conduct the job. “For instance, if women are under-represented in a particular educational program or a particular job type and those credentials or previous job experience are required to be considered for selection, women are being systematically, albeit perhaps not intentionally, discriminated against. In another example, there is gender discrimination if a test is used in the selection battery for which greater gender differences emerge, than those that emerge for job performance ratings.
Thus, institutional discrimination can be present within various aspects of HR selection policy, and can negatively affect women’s work outcomes” (Hing, 2015). When trying to conceptualize the outcome of organizational Structures, processes, and practices on HR policy, the focus is on the link between institutional discrimination in organizational structures, processes, and practices that can lead to personal discrimination in HR practices (Appendix B). We see that organizational structures, processes, and practices are interconnected and may contribute to discrimination. Consequently, gender inequalities within elements, creates a self-reinforcing system that can propagate organizational discrimination leading to discrimination in HR policies, decision-making, and enforcement. In the diagram, it can also be seen that these relations between gender inequalities in the structures, processes, and practices and discrimination in HR practices can be multi-directional (Appendix B).
A good example of a systematic structure that reduces discrimination can be seen in the military. “The military gives us a good example of how to eliminate bias from the decision-making process as a whole, Human resources demands a consistent method for rating, ranking and qualifying talent. This kind of system would democratize employment by exposing any management bias and differential treatment between male and females in the workforce.” (McKinsey Global Institute., n.d.) Overall, the progress made within the workplace climate and differential in treatment between male and female cannot be undermined. However, undoubtedly there is a need for more changes to take effect to reduce the gap between genders.
Equally important when talking about inequality in the workplace we need to discuss the importance of diversity management. Unquestionably, the rapid growth of immigration and globalization in the workforce, has impacted the demographics at a fast-changing rate which leads to the importance of organizations to grasp the concept of strategically dealing with diversity. This topic deals not only with equal employment opportunities also known as color blindness, or fairness to ensure equal and fair treatment of minority groups but with reduction social inequalities in the workplace. Although the status quo for gender diversity is fascinating, progress towards equality is very slow, nonetheless, under this growth we find that the influence of Hispanic women in the workplace is one of the fastest growing in the U.S labor force.
According to Catalyst, between 1990 to 2001 the total employment of Latinas increased by 76 percent and is expected to increase a further 37 percent in the near future. (Catalyst, 2003) As we interpret these statistics we still see the impact of disparity in diversity in corporate America showing that “the percentage of corporate officers who were Latinas in the Fortune 500 was a miniscule 0.24% in 2002, up very slightly from their representation in 1999 – 21% (Catalyst, 2003) it is important to realize, that inequalities may also vary within groups due to educational level. The above examples show us that Latino women are making their presence known in the workforce, but on the other hand we see that their representation within high executive level jobs that growth is insignificant compare to their male counterparts.
Contribution by this minority group emphasizes the importance of modifying the inequality of gender diversity within economic world. Generally speaking economies would tend to have more to gain than to lose by hiring a diverse group of men and women, the multifaceted element that women bring to the workplace would balance individual and work life. Ultimately, further changes would need to be address by government in their policy making to truly make lead way on this subject.  

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